So Whose Mother’s Day Is It Anyway?
By U. A. Nigro
Motherhood has been the most amazing thing I have ever done, not to mention the most challenging. Even though I have a memory like a slug, I can recall every detail of the birth of each of my children as if it happened yesterday. They were the most remarkable events in all my years on this earth and my girls are the most important things that I will leave behind after I pass. With my daughters now 25, 22, and 16 it has been many years since I changed a diaper or wiped clean little dirty hands, but not a day goes by that I am not affecting my kids in some way. I have made my share of mistakes in all these years, but I know that I have made three remarkable human beings.
“IF YOU ASK ME, BEING A MOTHER IS THE HARDEST JOB ON THE PLANET.”
If you ask me, being a mother is the hardest job on the planet. Long sleepless hours sometimes covered in vomit or poop. No sick days, paid vacations, or holiday thank you parties. Lots of bathing, dressing, feeding, and dirty clothes. Dealing with tiny people constantly wining, and crying, while they try to convince you that you know nothing. Some mom’s preform these tasks while holding down a job outside of the home. Shuffling around from school concerts, field trips, and drama with friends to mending a broken heart, Mom’s work is never done. The support you can expect to get from the partner who helped you to create those little miracles varies. I have witnessed the spectrum from getting up for the all-important middle of the night feeding Dad, to useless Dad who wants to be rewarded for watching his own kids. So let’s face it, in a child’s life, Mom is the virtuoso.
So every year on the second Sunday of May, moms get the thank you that they deserve. Children from all walks of life find some way to recognize all the things that their mothers do for them. From tying their shoes and cooking all their meals, to kissing boo boo’s and watching every ball game or dance recital. It is the one day out of the 365 days of the year that Mom gets to hear, thanks. However, for every partner who has children with a transgender woman, the situation gets a little sticky. Whose Mother’s Day is it anyway? In my house, it is becoming a day that I dread instead of a day that I look forward to. It is strenuous to even think about. Then, I think perhaps we should just cancel it all together.
“IT’S MAY, AND MOTHER’S DAY IS FAST APPROACHING, AND I STILL CAN’T SEEM TO RELEASE MY GRASP ON THIS DAY.”
The first Mother’s Day after my wife came out the girls asked me, “Does this mean we will have Mother’s Day for the both of you now?” Without even taking a second to think about it I said, “No, that’s my day.” So we celebrated her on Father’s Day with a Mother’s Day flair. Our second year celebrating the holiday, we acknowledged my wife the day before Father’s Day so we weren’t celebrating this “manly” holiday. We called it Di’s day (the kids call her Didi). We took her out, surprised her with a picnic and showered her with gifts. Here we are again. It’s May, and Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and I still can’t seem to release my grasp on this day. I know it hurts her, but it hurts me as well. I can feel the pain in her words when she talks about being a mommy, but it is so hard to give that up. It has been my job and my job alone for 25 years. It’s like a tug of war with my heart.
I know this is a sore subject in many households and that I am not the only one dealing with this omelette of emotions. It is difficult to let go. I am not the perfect mother; that does not exist, but I work at it every day. I am there whenever I am needed, I apologize when I screw up and love with my whole heart. I would give my life to save my girls and the last morsel of food so that they can eat, could anyone else say that with such conviction? As with everything else in our lives since transition began, we keep evolving. I can honestly say that my feelings are not as strong as they were the first Mother’s Day we celebrated together. My hope is that we will find a way to someday make it a celebration of all the mothers. How we get there from here, I don’t know. Hopefully, the same way we have navigated through transition, with love, and understanding. So in closing I would like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommies of the universe. I hope you all have a beautiful day.